A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Cosmic Christ, 7th Sunday in the Season of Creation '16

For Sunday, November 20, 2016, The Cosmic Christ, Season of Creation VII ‘16**Readings: Daniel 7:13-18, Psalm 46, Colossians 1:11-20, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe*


      As I watched...I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was...given dominion and glory and kingship that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. [Daniel 7:13-14]

      God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in the time of trouble...the God of Jacob is our stronghold...The Lord of Hosts is with us...There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation...God is in the midst of her... [Psalm 46:1, 4, 5, 6a]

      May you be made strong ...prepared to endure everything with patience...He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins...He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [Colossians 1:11,13-15]

       I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world...Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day...I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity...through their vision of truth despite their error, truly believe in the progress of earthly reality and who today will take up again their impassioned pursuit of the light...This restless multitude, confused or orderly, the immensity of which terrifies us; this ocean of humanity...Yet in the very depths of this formless mass you have implanted...a desire, irresistible, hallowing, which makes us cry out, believer and unbeliever alike: 'Lord, make us one.' [de Chardin**]

      I offer above, as always, the snippets of the readings, chosen or appointed for the particular Sunday, that have influenced my thoughts and writing the most for each set of prayers. This week, as happens amazingly often, the readings chosen months ago for this last Sunday in the Season of Creation also resonate for me because of the anxiety surrounding the results of the election here in the U.S. Whether one is jubilant or devastated, we are all still called directly into the Kingship of Christ, the Universal - Cosmic - Son of God, the Firstborn of all Creation, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The words of Teilhard de Chardin [a powerfully spiritual contemporary mystic that I urge you to discover more of if you have not already], which follow below the prayers, have been reverberating through my head over the last week as I have been reading and re-reading them. Taken together with the other three readings, it has been one of my more difficult weeks to extract and distill from them as the they all stand so well and beautifully together. I have found it daunting to insert my own renderings of these pieces into small tidbits of prayer. There is one piece of the de Chardin I didn't place above though the concept continues to expand within me. De Chardin prays to God: But the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.
      As we approach the preparatory Season of Advent, let us make the Creation we inhabit the altar upon which to offer all of life's triumphs, tragedies, labors, and sufferings. As we go forth in Christ, in the stream of universal becoming, as believers or unbelievers, with faith strong or weak or non-existent, let us cry out, with and for each other: Lord, make us one! 

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Lord of Hosts, Ancient of Days, keep us from collapsing in fear, whenever we, Your restless multitude, tremble at earthly, temporal tumult. Turn us again toward the Kingdom of our Christ, the flower of Your Love, in whom we have redemption, and forgiveness of sins.

                                 Holy Jesus, Christ of the Cosmos
RESPONSE:          Our Stronghold and our Salvation

~ Lord of Hosts, Ancient of Days, keep those who govern in all Nations, Kingdoms, and Communities, aware of Your constant Presence in their midst and throughout all of Creation. Guide the hearts and minds of those who lead, that they may cease war, and promote justice, well-being, and abundance across all the Earth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Holy Jesus, Christ of the Cosmos
                                    Our Stronghold and our Salvation

~ Lord of Hosts, Ancient of Days, help all who suffer chronic illness, difficult treatments, or emotional torment to keep strong and patient; and grant endurance and fortitude to all who give them care. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Holy Jesus, Christ of the Cosmos
                                    Our Stronghold and our Salvation

~ Lord of Hosts, Ancient of Days, may those who grieve be comforted by a supportive community around them, as those we have sent before us, awaken to the new day of gladness in the eternal life of Your Holy Habitation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Holy Jesus, Christ of the Cosmos
                                    Our Stronghold and our Salvation

~ Lord of Hosts, Ancient of Days, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud… add your own petitions

                                    Holy Jesus, Christ of the Cosmos
                                    Our Stronghold and our Salvation

~ Lord of Hosts, Ancient of Days, sustain the spirits of our pastoral shepherds as they endeavor to keep us eager to live the Gospel, and be impassioned pursuers of the Divine Light of Christ in each day. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Holy Jesus, Christ of the Cosmos
                                    Our Stronghold and our Salvation

The Celebrant adds:  God our Refuge and Our Strength, rescue us from the power of darkness and transform our anxieties into fruitful action. Earth is an altar upon which we offer You the labors and sufferings of all humanity. Keep us striving toward Your purpose, as we cry out: Lord, make us one. We ask through Jesus our Christ, the Firstborn of all Creation, and the Holy Spirit, the very Breath of Love, who together with You are our One God, now and forever. Amen.


*A reading from  – from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe  (read by two or more alternating voices)

     Since once again, Lord — though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the steppes of Asia — I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world.
     Over there, on the horizon, the sun has just touched with light the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again, beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and trembles, and once again begins its fearful travail. I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labor. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits.
     My paten and my chalice are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day. 
     One by one, Lord, I see and I love all those whom you have given me to sustain and charm my life. One by one also I number all those who make up that other beloved family which has gradually surrounded me, its unity fashioned out of the most disparate elements, with affinities of the heart, of scientific research and of thought. And again one by one — more vaguely it is true, yet all-inclusively — I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those who surround me and support me though I do not know them; those who come, and those who go; above all, those who in office, laboratory and factory, through their vision of truth or despite their error, truly believe in the progress of earthly reality and who today will take up again their impassioned pursuit of the light.
     This restless multitude, confused or orderly, the immensity of which terrifies us; this ocean of humanity whose slow, monotonous wave-flows trouble the hearts even of those whose faith is most firm: it is to this deep that I thus desire all the fibers of my being should respond. All the things in the world to which this day will bring increase; all those that will diminish; all those too that will die: all of them, Lord, I try to gather into my arms, so as to hold them out to you in offering. This is the material of my sacrifice; the only material you desire.
     Once upon a time men took into your temple the first fruits of their harvests, the flower of their flocks. But the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.

     Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day. This bread, our toil, is of itself, I know, but an immense fragmentation; this wine, our pain, is no more, I know, than a draught that dissolves. Yet in the very depths of this formless mass you have implanted — and this I am sure of, for I sense it — a desire, irresistible, hallowing, which makes us cry out, believer and unbeliever alike: 
‘Lord, make us one.’ 


**for more information on the Season of Creation and the Earth Charter see:  http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2016/10/prayers-of-people-very-beginning-1st.html




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